It’s also the start of a 43-game voyage to see 58 different teams play in 38 different cities across 21 different states.
The 2022 Ultimate College Football Road Trip begins in Logan, Utah, on Saturday, Aug. 27, and ends in Philadelphia on Saturday, Dec. 9. In between, you’ll drive approximately 28,000 miles over 437 hours.
No planes or trains. Driving only.
|Aug. 27||UConn at Utah State||-|
UConn-Utah State isn’t the best or most intriguing Lower 48 game on the Week 0 schedule. And Maverik Stadium won’t be rocking like it would if an FBS opponent was in town.
However, venturing west in a season-long, driving-only trip is challenging. So, opening the season with a late-August trip to Logan Canyon is the right call, even if the matchup sucks and will likely end in a blowout – Utah State is a 27.5-point favorite.
|Sept. 1||Penn State at Purdue||1,496|
|Sept. 2||Virginia Tech at Old Dominion||785|
|Sept. 3||Notre Dame at Ohio State||576|
|Sept. 4||Florida State vs. LSU*||912|
|Sept. 5||Clemson vs. Georgia Tech**||470|
The Backyard Brawl isn’t what the Backyard Brawl was when it was last played in 2011; West Virginia is at its lowest point in more than two decades, and neither team is a serious New Year’s Six contender.
It’s still an attractive game – and a College GameDay location this year – but not attractive enough to warrant a Week 1 visit over West Lafayette, where Purdue will host Penn State at an on-campus stadium, not at an NFL stadium.
Notre Dame-Ohio State is the headliner, but Virginia Tech’s first visit to Old Dominion since their 2018 loss to the Monarchs could be a hell of a lot of fun, too. The Hokies are just an 8-point favorite in college football odds.
*Neutral site: New Orleans
**Neutral site: Atlanta
|Sat., Sept. 10||Alabama at Texas||953|
If you want to be in Austin for Alabama’s first visit in 100 years, you can’t attend the Louisville-UCF game on Friday night. The 11 a.m. CT kickoff for Bama-Texas makes a 16-hour drive from Orlando – after a 7:30 p.m. ET kickoff – impossible.
Bama might roll in the program’s first meeting since the 2009 national championship, but Austin will be on fire the entire week.
|Sept. 16||Florida State at Louisville||1,031|
|Sept. 17||Miami (FL) at Texas A&M||932|
This is the first of three appearances in six weeks for Texas A&M but the only visit to College Station, where Miami has played just once all-time (2008).
If an overnight 14-hour drive to Texas is too much after Florida State-Louisville on Friday night, you could instead drive eight hours to Columbia for Georgia-South Carolina.
|Sept. 22||West Virginia at Virginia Tech||1,170|
|Sept. 24||Florida at Tennessee||236|
After not meeting from 2006-16, Virginia Tech and West Virginia will play for the third time in six years as the Mountaineers seek a second straight win in the series. If the Hokies take care of business against Old Dominion, Boston College, and Wofford, Blacksburg will be rocking for the first home game against their former conference foe in 18 years.
We’re skipping three pedestrian Friday night games – Virginia at Syracuse, Nevada at Air Force, or Boise State at UTEP – to ensure an early arrival in Knoxville for Florida-Tennessee. The Gators have won five straight and 16 of the last 17 games in the series, including a 24-point win in Gainesville last year before everything went to hell.
One note: Missing James Madison-App State in Boone is highly unfortunate.
|Sept. 29||Utah State at BYU||1,813|
|Sept. 30||San Diego State at Boise State||382|
|Oct. 1||Arizona State at USC||891|
The longest drive of the trip is followed by back-to-back night games in Provo and Boise, and the lone Pac-12 game of the trip – geography doesn’t work in the Pac-12’s favor for driving-only road trips – for Lincoln Riley’s first home conference game as Trojans’ head coach.
|Oct. 7||Houston at Memphis||1,793|
|Oct. 8||Texas A&M at Alabama||238|
You could skip Houston-Memphis – one of three Friday-night FBS games; Nebraska at Rutgers, and Colorado State at Nevada are the two others – for an earlier arrival in Tuscaloosa for Saban vs. Jimbo.
After winning his first 25 games against his former assistant coaches, Saban has dropped two straight, including last year’s loss to Fisher and Texas A&M.
|Oct. 12||Louisiana at Marshall||585|
|Oct. 13||Baylor at West Virginia||209|
|Oct. 15||LSU at Florida||827|
Three appearances for West Virginia in the first seven weeks wasn’t intentional, nor was a home game for Marshall, though neither byproducts of scheduling a 16-week college football road trip is a problem.
Florida could be undefeated in Week 7. If that’s the case, skipping Navy-SMU on Friday night and several intriguing Saturday games is an easy call in order to reach Gainesville for Tigers-Gators.
|Oct. 19||Georgia State at App State||540|
|Oct. 20||Troy at South Alabama||615|
|Oct. 22||Texas A&M at South Carolina||536|
Two weekday G5 games are followed by South Carolina’s attempt at beating Texas A&M for the first time in program history. Since the Aggies joined the SEC in 2014, they’re 8-0 in the series, including three straight wins by at least 24 points.
|Oct. 27||Virginia Tech at NC State||226|
|Oct. 29||Ohio State at Penn State||460|
After potential playoff contender NC State hosts Virginia Tech on Friday, we’re skipping the lone Friday game – East Carolina at BYU – to ensure a visit to State College for Ohio State-Penn State.
This won’t be the Nittany Lions’ whiteout game, and there are indications this won’t be a primetime game, either. Still, the only visit to State College is the pick over Florida-Georgia, Michigan State-Michigan, Ole Miss-Texas A&M, and other notable games.
|Nov. 1||Ball State at Kent State||206|
|Nov. 2||Central Michigan at Northern Illinois||426|
|Nov. 3||App State at Coastal Carolina||639|
|Nov. 5||Clemson at Notre Dame||858|
The first of three straight weeks with at least four games begins with MACtion and ends with Clemson-Notre Dame.
You could add a fifth game – UMass-UConn, Duke-Boston College, and Oregon State-Washington are scheduled for Friday night – but each option is geographically unfavorable ahead of Saturday’s slate, most of which doesn’t yet include kickoff times.
|Nov. 8||Ohio at Miami (OH)||235|
|Nov. 9||Buffalo at Central Michigan||318|
|Nov. 10||Tulsa at Memphis||758|
|Nov. 11||East Carolina at Cincinnati||482|
|Nov. 12||Alabama at Ole Miss||527|
From Oxford to Oxford: Five games in five days over 2,320 miles.
Week 11 includes the first and only visit to Cincinnati, where the Bearcats might be on their way to a third straight undefeated conference season. Only five teams – Alabama, Ohio State, Clemson, Oklahoma, and Georgia – have more conference wins than the Bearcats since 2018.
Bama-Ole Miss is the right play for Saturday, Nov. 12, but Eastern Washington-Montana would be a fun novelty stop instead.
|Nov. 15||Bowling Green at Toledo||202|
|Nov. 17||SMU at Tulane||1,004|
|Nov. 18||South Florida at Tulsa||643|
|Nov. 19||Oklahoma State at Oklahoma||122|
This could be another five-game week, but we’ve already been to all three Wednesday locations – Kent State, Central Michigan, and Northern Illinois. And with potentially the last Bedlam for the foreseeable future looming on Saturday, overexertion would be reckless.
|Nov. 22||Bowling Green at Ohio||1,005|
|Nov. 24||Mississippi State at Ole Miss||678|
|Nov. 25||Florida at Florida State||483|
|Nov. 26||Michigan at Ohio State||828|
Doak Campbell will be rocking on Friday night if Florida State isn’t trash by this point in the season.
If Florida State is trash, there are better options, including Baylor-Texas and NC State-North Carolina, ahead of the final Saturday of the season.
|Dec. 2||SEC Championship*||568|
The SEC Championship is the most likely conference championship to carry real playoff implications.
*Neutral site: Atlanta
|Dec. 9||Army vs. Navy*||777|
The 123rd Army-Navy Game will return to Philadelphia for the first time since 2019. It will be the 90th time the academies have met in Philly.
*Neutral site: Philadelphia
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